Best iPhone Lenses

In the modern world, technology and especially those small devices we carry around are no longer designed to accomplish only one task. Take smartphones, and more specifically iPhones, for example. Their main design purposes are to provide you with the abilities to call and text your friends, family, associates, etc. However, now, it is commonplace for smartphones, such as the iPhone, to come equipped with their own camera or cameras. But, one of the common complaints when it comes to iPhones is their limited cameras. They can still produce high-quality content, but maybe you want more? This is precisely why iPhone lenses are created and with one installed, your iPhone can be transformed into a professional-grade compact camera.

Moment Superfish
  • Moment Superfish
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 12-month warranty
  • Aerospace-grade material
  • Price: See Here
Moment Telephoto
  • Moment Telephoto
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sharp center
  • 60mm focal length
  • Price: See Here
Zeiss Exolens
  • Zeiss Exolens
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Anti-reflective coating
  • Protection against spray
  • Price: See Here

10 Best iPhone Lenses

 

 

Moment Superfish

Good luck finding someone who does not believe that Moment designs the best smartphone lenses on the planet. Their Superfish Lens is just one of the reasons why consumers feel comfortable when investing in their lenses.
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Lens Design
Included alongside the fisheye lens is also a lens cap and a microfiber bag. The lens itself is a 15mm equivalent lens and it is ideal for capturing videos and photos in tight spaces.

Compatibility
Not only is this compatible with some of the newer iPhones, it is noteworthy for being compatible with the brand-new iPhone X.

Lens Quality
Typical fisheye lens are known for their curved images but Moment designed theirs differently. Because theirs is flat, it delivers a 170-degree image and it provides edge-to-edge clarity. Overall, it can rival what a GoPro camera can capture.

Build Quality
As Moment designed their lens with hand-polished glass and aerospace-grade metal, you can rest assured that this is not a cheap plastic lens. But, it also does not add enough weight to weigh your phone down.

Installation
Now, buying this lens alone will not get the job done. As Moment clearly specifies, you must buy either their Photo Case or Battery Case in conjunction with this lens. This is the only way the lens can be mounted.

Overall
This is one of the many Moment camera lenses that make them so esteemed around the globe. Granted you invest in one of the aforementioned cases, you will uncover the wonders of Moment’s fisheye lens.
Pros
  • Moment backs up their products with a 12-month warranty
  • Constructed of aerospace-grade metal and hand-polished glass
  • Shoots outstanding videos
Cons
  • Due to the optical image stabilization, it can be difficult to achieve a perfect alignment

Moment Telephoto

Think of Moment’s fisheye lens as 1A and their telephoto lens as 1B. It should become clear to you with Moment taking the top two spots, that they have a grasp on how to design high-quality camera lenses.
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Lens Design
The main benefit of slapping this lens on your current smartphone is it eliminates the need for you to utilize digital zoom. This telephoto lens possesses a 60mm focal length and this accounts for an insane depth of field.

Compatibility
In order for you to use this lens, you must buy the correct mounting plate. Some models that this accounts for would be the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 4s.

Lens Quality
To maximize the image quality, the curved shape of the hood provides a specific visual look. In addition, the lens allows for a more natural depth of field and is much sharper in the center.

Build Quality
Much like with their fisheye lens, Moment does not skimp on the build quality of their telephoto lens. Again, it has been designed with aerospace-grade metal hand-polished glass.

Installation
Again, you need the correct mounting case to install this lens. The choice is yours from either the company’s Battery Photo case or Photo case. No matter, each makes the mounting process relatively simple.

Overall
Once you get the basic understanding of how to mount this lens with the appropriate mount, which can take a little practice, you are golden. When it comes to telephoto lenses, you are not going to find a better model than what Moment delivers.
Pros
  • The lens is sharp in the center and blurred around the edges
  • Features a focal length of 60mm
  • The design of the lens maximizes the image quality
Cons
  • Can take some practice to install and detach the lens

Zeiss Exolens Pro

Discounting the fact that the included mount can be a hassle to fit and remove, the lenses included in the ExoLens Pro are beyond impressive. But, the anti-reflective coating puts it over the top as this ensures improved light transmission and reduced reflection.
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Lens Design
Besides the anti-reflective coating that was just addressed, this is notable for its design that is tailored towards smartphone optics. The field of view is changed to a telephoto range or an extremely wide-angle.

Compatibility
One of the only downsides of this lens is that it is only compatible with a few iPhones. Among these are the iPhone 7, iPhone 6/6s, and iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus.

Lens Quality
Thanks to the ingenious design, the optics are pretty-much distortion-free and do not feature chromatic aberration. The end result for you is vastly improved image quality that is almost unparalleled.

Build Quality
It is only natural to expect that you will be using your new smartphone camera lens outdoors. As such, ExoLens has designed theirs to be both dust-resistant and water-resistant (it can handle splashes of water but not submersion).

Installation
All in all, ExoLens offers three different mounting solutions for their camera lens. Their Bracket and Edge mounts are designed from premium aluminum and feature integrated shoe mounts for additional components.

Overall
For all intents and purposes, this is the best non-Moment camera lens in the world. Even when you compare it to the lenses that Moment has manufactured, it is still highly impressive.
Pros
  • Features anti-reflective coating
  • The lenses provide protection against spray water and dust
  • This is specifically tailored to smartphone optics
Cons
  • The mount can be a hassle to install and remove

DXo One

DXo One
While the price tag may steer you a different direction, there is a logical reasoning behind the massive cost. This is much more than just a camera lens; as, essentially, it is a masterful viewfinder that can actually work as a standalone product.
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Lens Design
The lens on the DxO One is a high-quality six-element aspherical lens with a f/1.8 aperture. But, because it has its own lithium-ion battery and memory card, it can be used as a standalone device.

Compatibility
The manner, in which this device connects to your smartphone, with the Lightning connector, makes it impossible to use with non-iOS devices. However, for iPhone users, that is just fine.

Lens Quality
Due to its advanced image processing and small one-inch sensor camera, a powerful punch is packed into a minuscule frame. No matter the lighting conditions, the quality produces is phenomenal.

Build Quality
As soon as you pick this camera lens up, you know it was crafted with only premium materials. However, truly noteworthy is its rugged shell that allows it to be water-resistant down to 45 meters.

Installation
An extra mount or case is not necessary with this design as it utilizes the Lightning port on your iPhone. All you need to do is open the connector on your smartphone and plug in the DxO One.

Overall
At the beginning of this guide, it was mentioned how modern devices are excelling at multiple tasks. That pretty much personifies the DxO One as it will enhance your smartphone’s camera, while also being component on its own.
Pros
  • Handles shutter speeds up to 1/20000ths of a second
  • With its battery and microSD card, it can be used on its own
  • Features a one-inch sensor camera
Cons
  • The battery life is okay at best

Olloclip Lens Set

Olloclip Lens Set
This is a prime example of a product that is hindered by one, pretty large design flaw. The fisheye, super-wide, and macro lenses that come with this set are all marvelous. But, it is warned that these lenses could potentially scratch your iPhone.
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Lens Design
Included in this lens set is a macro 15x zoom lens, a super-wide lens and also a fisheye lens. All are fantastic and provide you with different shooting elements for all sorts of desired photos.

Compatibility
While this is not compatible with the iPhone X, it is for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Of course, if you have not splurged for those smartphones it will still work with the iPhone 7/7 Plus.

Lens Quality
As a whole, the premium multi-element coated glass optics enhances the overall image quality produced by each lens. Again, each separate lens is designed to produce unreal playback quality.

Build Quality
While the lenses themselves are made from metal and highly-durable, this presents a slight issue. As this lens will slide on and off your iPhone camera lens, scratches may happen sooner rather than later.

Installation
There is no need for an additional mounting system or a bulky case as these lenses instantly attach to your smartphone. Better yet, both the front and rear cameras are covered.

Overall
Besides the issue of scratching, which takes away from the design as a whole, this is truly one of the best camera lenses in the world. It more than deserves the patents it has received; but why couldn’t the design have prevented scratches?
Pros
  • This has been issued over 100 patents worldwide
  • It is compatible with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
  • Its premium coated glass optics provide excellent image quality
Cons
  • The lenses can potentially scratch your smartphone

Sony QX10

Sony QX10
Only a select few will be intrigued by the Sony QX10 Camera Lens and here is why. Due to its massive size and girth, it is essentially as if you are slicing off the lens of a compact camera and placing it on your smartphone. However, its specifications are truly remarkable.
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Lens Design
The lens itself sports an impressive 10x motorized optical zoom. But, this is much more than just a lens because if you insert a microSD card, it can also store its own photos. In addition, it has its own battery.

Compatibility
It is pretty simple; if your smartphone is up to 75mm wide and 13mm thick then this camera lens can be installed. Anything else and most likely, a proper fit will not be feasible.
Lens Quality
With the specifications present, it is all but guaranteed that this lens can produce unreal images. This includes a sensor that has 18.2 megapixels and an aperture range of f3.3 to f5.9.

Build Quality
While the feet do have plastic at the ends and damage could potentially be a concern, the lens feels very sturdy. This is mostly thanks to its mostly metal design.

Installation
Via two rubberized feet, this will install on smartphones with the previously mentioned specifications. However, with its massive size, it may be more than a lot of people are bargaining for.

Overall
In the world of technology, it is hard to bet against Sony. Their track record is beyond insane so you know when they make a technology device, it is good at the very least. Such is the case with their QX10 but for some, the size will be too immense.
Pros
  • Has an impressive 10x motorized optical zoom
  • The specifications result in tremendous image quality
  • Comes equipped with a wrist strap for security
Cons
  • To be frank, the size is massive

iPro Lens System

iPro Lens System
Not everyone is financially-stable enough to purchase the new iPhone model every year. As such, the iPro Lens System is ideal for those who still have an older model iPhone, such as the iPhone 6.
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Lens Design
Much like other kits of its kind, this comes with a super-wide, macro, and telephoto lens. While the latter adds double the focal length of your current smartphone’s camera, the super-wide lens transforms your lens into a 15mm optic.

Compatibility
This is available for both the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5s. However, the specific product displayed for you comes with a case for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.

Lens Quality
Overall, all the included lenses offer superb quality. However, there is a slight issue with the super-wide lens as it introduces quite a bit of barrel distortion.

Build Quality
The case that is included with this kit is built using a type of hard plastic. Overall, it is a sleek design and it does not add too much bulkiness to your existing smartphone.

Installation
It is pretty self-explanatory to install the included case on your smartphone as it goes on in two portions. After it is installed, you will notice the specific spot where you insert the lens. In addition, you can then attach the tripod socket to the bottom.

Overall
Despite the issues of the super-wide lens causing barrel distortion and the lack of compatibility with the newer iPhones, this remains a solid option from iPro. At the end of the day, it is hard to argue against the build quality and overall performance.
Pros
  • Its telephoto lens adds double the focal length of your smartphone’s camera
  • Comes with a tripod socket that can be connected to the bottom
  • Also includes macro and super-wide lenses
Cons
  • The super-wide lens does have barrel distortion
  • Not compatible with newer iPhones

Oowa Pro Kit

Oowa Pro Kit
Looking past the highly questionable build quality, which could raise red flags for some people, the OOWA Pro Kit is a nearly all-in-one package that features an above-average wide-angle lens.
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Lens Design
There is both a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. While both are impressive, the wide-angle lens deserves special recognition. This is, in large part, because as opposed to other wide-angle lenses, it achieves excellent optical integrity beyond its center image.

Compatibility
As the manufacturer notes for iPhone 7 Plus users, the telephoto lens is only compatible with the 1x camera. As a whole, this is rated for the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus.

Lens Quality
OOWA aimed to make a camera lens that stood the test of time because of its quality. Well, due to its improved sharpness and exceptionally vivid colors, it is safe to assume they have done so.

Build Quality
Oh boy, here is where things get a little dicey. Despite this lens cracking this top 10 list, its build quality almost prevented it from doing so. As one reviewer pointed out, the case is cheaply made and if you drop it, it will probably break.

Installation
For your convenience, a smartphone case is included and it is used to mount the camera lens. Once you have installed the case, the lens will properly align for the best results.

Overall
Is it right for a product to crack a top 10 list if the build quality draws red flags? To justify it, the performance is that of a top 10 lens and granted you do not drop your phone, issues should not present themselves.
Pros
  • Features an impressive wide-angle lens
  • Comes with a 15mm wide-angle lens and 75mm telephoto lens
  • Is compatible with the iPhone 6 class
Cons
  • The case is poorly made
  • The fitting system can be a little finicky

Amir Caemra Lens

Amir Caemra Lens
Let’s be straight-up here, does this next set of lenses possess the best image quality on the market? No, but they are compatible with a wide-range of iPhones and you get a super-wide lens, fisheye lens, and macro lens.
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Lens Design
Once again, the most important camera lenses are included with this kit and this includes a fisheye lens, macro lens, and super wide-angle lens.

Compatibility
Compatibility is definitely one of the strong suits of this lens as it can be used in conjunction with iPhones from the iPhone 8 all the way down to the iPhone 4.

Lens Quality
If you are in the market for the absolute best in image quality, this may not be what you are looking for. While these lenses will still improve on your current camera, they certainly are not top-of-the-line.

Build Quality
While the image quality of these lenses may not be the best, the build quality could in fact be. Thanks to the superior-grade glass and aluminum craftsmanship, durability should not be a concern.

Installation
Speaking of superior, how about the installation here? Instead of needing a bulky case or add-on, each lens has a clip and simply attaches to your smartphone; it is as simple as that.

Overall
Overall, this definitely suffers a bit because of its image quality. However, the installation process and build quality more than makeup for it. As a low-budget option, this is fantastic.
Pros
  • Each lens is equipped with a clip and covers
  • Comes with three lenses for the price of one
  • Compatible with a wide range of iPhone models
Cons
  • In terms of image quality, these lenses are not the best

Camkix Kit

Camkix Kit
The last camera lens on this list is actually an entire kit. Included are not only four different camera lenses, but also a specially made case and a tripod. While the build quality could have been improved, this truly is the total package.
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Lens Design
Certain situations will call for different types of lenses. This is precisely why CamKix includes four different lenses (macro, wide-angle, fisheye and telephoto).

Compatibility
Because this only fits one size, the size of an iPhone 6, it makes it unusable for devices such as an iPad.

Lens Quality
At such a low price, it is impressive that the included lenses deliver the level of quality that they do. Each lens has its own dynamics but each one will enhance your image quality.

Build Quality
While the lenses do not have durability issues, the tripod does and the case does not provide much protection for your smartphone. One user noted how their tripod started to deteriorate within three months of use.

Installation
All the components are included for you and thanks to the included case, a special adhesive is not necessary for installing the lenses. In addition, a tripod is included which can be used for filming.

Overall
Is this kit foolproof? Of course not, as its placement on this list is indicative of that. What it is, however, is a solid option that provides you with everything you need to enhance your current smartphone’s camera.
Pros
  • The wide-angle and macro lenses are screwed together for storage
  • Overall, the lenses work very well
  • Comes with its own specially made case for installation
Cons
  • The case only fits one size of smartphone
  • Both the case and tripod could sport an improved build

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

The Overall Design of the Lens and the Type/Types

If you were to take one thing out of this guide, understand that different types of camera lenses all perform differently. Why is this important to you? It is simple; you need to analyze right off the bat what kind of lens you are seeking. We all know that iPhone cameras are limited and if you do not want to invest in an additional compact camera, attachable lenses are a great option. However, only if they improve the aspects you were looking for. Let’s take three of the most popular lens types for example (fisheye, macro and telephoto). If what you are after are wider images that offer a more panoramic view of the surroundings, a fisheye lens is your best bet. As these are designed with an ultra-wide-angle that produces visual distortion, they achieve just that.

But, what if you want a camera that offers more focus? So much so that it makes the object in the image the size it actually is in real life? Well, you would be looking for a macro lens. However, it is possible that you simply want a longer focal length to provide a narrower field of view. You guessed it; you would then be seeking a telephoto lens.

If It Is Compatible With Your Smartphone

Above all else, this is the most important deciding factor of a camera lens. What good is it going to do you if it is not compatible with your current generation of smartphone? As this guide is centered on iPhone lenses, rest assured that all the camera lenses on this guide do work with one type of iPhone. But, they will not work with each generation and that is an area that you need to desperately assess. It depends on the overall design but sometimes, manufacturers will require you to use their mounting system to properly install the camera lens on your smartphone. This will typically involve installing a case on your smartphone and this is where compatibility can be an issue as not all smartphones will fit inside.

If possible, contact the manufacturer if you are unsure if your current smartphone is compatible. But, they should provide you with a detailed list of the accepted models.

The Image Quality it Produces

This is what it all comes down to, right? The main reason why you are here today is that you are sick and tired of the limitations of your current iPhone camera and want an improvement. That improvement is going to be achieved with the image and video quality, for most people. Thus, it makes assessing it for each camera lens vitally important. As image quality could be discussed in-depth for hours on end, we will try to give you the short version and inform you of some of the most important specifications to look for.

For some, the first specification they will look for in a camera lens is the megapixels. Over the years, several have begun to realize that the sensor size is more important. However, the megapixel count is still important and the higher, the better. The same applies to the sensor size as the larger the sensor, the more prone you will be to shooting high-quality images. Another key spec is the aperture. When you see something like this, “f3.3”, that is the aperture range. Without going too in-depth, a higher aperture range (which will be a lower number) can provide sharp objects and a blurred background. But, a smaller aperture range (which will be a high number) could provide a sharp background, as well.

How Well the Components Are Built

When it comes to camera lenses, the build quality is often an underrated aspect and it is one that should not be taken lightly. First off, the lens or lenses themselves should be built-to-last. If you are going to spend a decent chunk of money on a camera lens, it should not be designed from cheap plastic. Instead, it should be crafted from premium materials such as hand-polished glass and aerospace-grade metal. However, water-resistance and dust-resistance are not bad features, either. Given it is a camera; you will probably end up using it outside eventually.

However, as some camera lenses require an additional casing system, the build quality does not end there. If you do happen to need the manufacturer’s special case with their camera lens, ensure that it is built with some hardiness to it. After all, are you immune to dropping your smartphone?

What You Need to Install It

It is not as if you are opening up your current iPhone and replacing it with a different camera sensor. Instead, you are literally attaching a camera lens to your smartphone. Depending on the design, however, this can be accomplished in different ways. Probably the most common way is with an included case. While some people will not have any issues with this, others will want to steer away from adding a bulky case to their phone.

Thankfully, some camera lenses do not require one. For example, the DxO One merely plugs into the Lightning port on your iPhone and slides in. Also, the Amir Camera Lenses come with clips and you simply attach them to your iPhone that way. Basically, this comes down to personal preference as there is not any one method that is vastly superior.

 

FAQs

Q:   Can You Use a Screen Protector With a Camera Lens?

In case you did not know, iPhones are not exactly the cheapest investment you can make in the world. To be frank, they can be downright expensive. Of course, most of you are highly aware of this fact and as such, most will like to protect their investment with cases and screen protectors. But, when you need to use a separate case to mount a camera lens, can you also use a screen protector? Truthfully, it depends on the design of the camera lens. Better yet, it is dependent on if the manufacturer designed their camera lens to be used with a screen protector.

If they do not then, chances are, adding a screen protector will throw off the alignment of the lens and prevent it from being installed correctly. As you will soon find out, this can lead to image effects that will not look good in your content.

Q:   Will Camera Lenses Work With Your Current Case?

This is probably the biggest drawback to installing a camera lens that requires an external case. If you do not currently have a smartphone case installed on your current phone, it is not a big deal at all. But, you may be quite fond of your current case and not willing to remove it. However, just as the designers of the olloclip lenses point out, it is pretty much impossible to design a lens that is compatible with every smartphone case in the world. You simply can’t expect this to be done and as such, you may be forced to go with the manufacturer’s specific case.

To be honest, though, most of these cases will more than suffice. Or, if you opt to buy the lenses separately, you could take a risk and see if your smartphone case will be compatible but that could be a long shot.

Q:   Why Are Their Black Corners In the Image and Why Is It Blurry?

While this is two questions for the price of one, they both have the same answer. After you have installed your camera lens on your smartphone, you may start to notice that your images are blurry. You may also be seeing black corners surrounding the image. But, why is that? Chances are it is not the camera lens but the manner in which you installed it. The lens must be properly aligned on your smartphone for the best results. If not, the aforementioned quality issues could be a result.

Ensure that the camera lens is aligned in the center of your smartphone’s camera. If you are certain it is aligned correctly and the issue still persists, you may need to clean your camera as dust or dirt may be causing the issue. Remember, there are always tutorials online that you can access if you can’t figure out how to install the camera lens.

Q:   What Do You Do When The Lens Becomes Foggy?

As soon as you take your camera lens outdoors, it becomes exposed to the natural elements. It was previously mentioned that this makes it important to look for characteristics that aid in outdoor protection, such as water-resistance. But, from time to time, you may notice that your lens has become foggy. If you have been shooting in wet conditions, this is bound to happen if the lenses are not fully sealed. Moisture will build up inside the glass and fog will be the result.

In order to eliminate this fog, you must dry the lens. There are a few ways you can go about this and the most logical is to allow the moisture to evaporate. To do so, place the lens in both a warm and dry area. But, if this solution is not feasible then you could also try placing the lens inside of a bag of rice as that has been known to absorb the moisture out.

Q:   How Do You Clean a Camera Lens?

It does not take a genius to figure out that when you use your gear, it is going to get dirty. Everyone must live with this reality and that is why cleaning products exist in this world. But, something to keep in mind is it is never good to be anal about how clean your camera lens. Truly, you do want to avoid unnecessary cleaning and should only partake in it when the lens actually needs it. Yes, dirty optics can compromise the quality of the images so cleaning is necessary.

When you notice an excessive amount of dust and dirt, try to take a soft-bristled brush to clean the inside of the lens. As far as the surface of the lens, you should use a cleaning cloth with a small dose of cleaning solution. Do not apply the solution directly to the lens but rather on the cloth. It does not take much, so do not over saturate the cloth.

Q:   What Is The Best Way to Separate Two Lenses That Are Stuck Together?

Sometimes, for storage purposes, two lenses will be designed to fit inside of one another. In the event that they become too tight, though, you may have trouble separating them. Here is what you should do if this unlikely event occurs. First off, find a relatively small towel and dampen it with water, making sure to ring out the excess water. From there, heat it up in the microwave for around a minute and a half. Then, place the heated towel over the lens and let it sit for just under 60 seconds. This should do the trick and if it does not, repeat the above steps until it does.

Final Thoughts

“Why would I buy a separate camera lens for my smartphone when I can just buy a compact camera”, some may ask. Here is the reality, some people can’t afford a separate compact camera and a (most of the time) cheaper solution is to invest in a separate lens. If you own an iPhone, then you will never have to ask that question again once you try out the camera lenses that were documented on this list.

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